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And this is why I watched the inauguration on the TV!

January 20, 2009, 8:04 PM

As many of you know, I said in this space about a week ago that I was going to watch the inauguration on the TV. And you know what? It was a smart move. Check it out:

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Categories: National politics

And so we enter… end game.

November 4, 2008, 12:01 AM

The day that I’ve been anticipating for a long time is finally here. Election day! Oh, how I am so tired of this campaign. After all, we’ve been dealing with this race almost as soon as the 2006 midterm elections ended. And now it all comes down to this. Now it’s time for everyone to do their thing and vote. After all, umpteen polls by various organizations are in the end, meaningless. It’s the vote that counts.

And now, hopefully in less than 24 hours, we’ll know who George W. Bush’s successor will be. I’m hoping it’s Barack Obama, but we’ll see. If it is John McCain, though, then we’ve got problems. After all, the man has admitted he doesn’t know much about economics, and we’re in the midst of a big economic crisis. Perhaps if he gets elected, we could all mail him various macroeconomics texts to bring him up to speed. But hopefully, that’s going to be a moot point.

Meanwhile, I took the opportunity to look at the Web sites for the two newspapers that serve Stuarts Draft – The News Leader in Staunton, and The News Virginian in Waynesboro – to see what the endorsements were. After all, I may live in the Washington DC area now, but the two newspapers that I did a lot of growing up with still hold a place near and dear to me. The Staunton paper endorsed Barack Obama for president, and Mark Warner for the Senate. Meanwhile, Waynesboro endorsed John McCain for president, and Jim Gilmore for the Senate. Thus between the two, it’s a wash. Many in Augusta County get both papers, and so it’s kind of a toss-up down that way, I suppose. Still, it’s interesting to see what people are thinking.

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Categories: National politics

It appears that I am ready to vote!

October 25, 2008, 6:50 PM

With a little more than a week to go before the election, I went online and made all of my final checks and such, and it appears that I am ready to vote in Montgomery County for the 2008 election. As a first-time Maryland voter, I was concerned that something might have gone wrong in the process when I registered to vote, and I would, for some reason or other, be unable to vote. So this is a good thing. I’d voted in Virginia on numerous occasions, but this is my first time voting in Maryland, and it will be good to again exercise my right to vote.

The way I see it, voting is key to all the various issues that I attend demonstrations about (except Scientology, since that’s a completely different can of beans). You see, if you are eligible to vote and don’t actually go vote, you don’t really have much room to complain when things don’t go well and it becomes time to demonstrate on an issue. Even my anarchist buddies should make sure they are at a voting booth on November 4, because even though they question the legitimacy of the powers being conferred, a lot of their demonstrations involve the actions of elected officials, especially with anti-war demonstrations and some of the discussion regarding controversial highway projects. There, voting the “right” candidate into office might help their causes. So thus I’ll be voting at Bel Pre Elementary School on November 4, and then I’ll see you in the streets.

Meanwhile, I also got to take a look at the Montgomery County sample ballot, available on the University of Maryland‘s site. Besides voting for president and vice president (where there are six candidates on the ballot, plus a write-in), we’re also voting for our member of Congress, a circuit court judge, two referenda on special appeals court judges, three school board candidates (one running unopposed), as well as state referenda on early voting, and slot machines, and two local referenda on repealing “legally ineffective provisions” of the county charter, and on property taxes.

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An absentee ballot form in a packet critical of the Democratic Party. Hmmm…

September 25, 2008, 7:25 PM

Well, as you know, it doesn’t take great intelligence to be a member of the Republican Party. George W. Bush is living proof, after all. But the reason I bring it up is because yesterday, I got something in the mail from the Republican National Committee. It was a packet made out to “The Schumin Family” (or current resident) located in Silver Spring. On the outside is a piggy bank with the line, “What are Washington Democrats doing with your money?” Then on the inside it says, “Democrats are pigging out”, with a smaller flyer that says, “OUTRAGEOUS DEMOCRAT WASTE” and shows a smashed piggy bank. Then on the other side is a detachable envelope with an absentee ballot form inside of it.

So what’s the problem? Well, the problem is that the absentee ballot form is for Virginia, and the address the envelope is made out to is for the Augusta County registrar in Verona. The problem is that I am no longer a Virginia resident. I am a Maryland resident now. I haven’t been a Virginia resident for nearly a year and a half, and I am registered to vote in Maryland – as an Independent, no less.

Thus to fill out the form that the Republicans sent me and send it in, it would be playing right into the hands of the GOP. After all, if I did that, they would probably be able to challenge my right to vote in Maryland as well as in Virginia, and get my vote disqualified or otherwise disenfranchise me.

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Categories: National politics

John McCain picks Sarah Palin as his running mate. Interesting…

August 29, 2008, 11:38 PM

Finally, the battle lines are completely drawn for the 2008 election. Barack Obama has selected Joe Biden as his running mate, and John McCain surprised us all by picking Sarah Palin of Alaska, whom most of us have never heard of, as his running mate. Interesting move.

What got me was in reading this AP article on the VP pick. Specifically: “She mentioned that she followed in the footsteps of Geraldine Ferraro, who was the Democratic vice presidential running mate in 1984[…]”

It’s always a good idea to invoke the name of a vice presidential candidate whose ticket lost by a HUGE landslide in the 1984 election. Not to mention that this is the same person who, back in March, left-wing pundit Randi Rhodes described as “the David Duke in drag” due to Ferraro’s comments about why Barack Obama has gotten as far as he has. Excellent strategy, bringing a failed VP candidate’s name into the mix.

I say that if we’re going to invoke the name of Geraldine Ferraro, let’s see if we can’t make sure that they go the whole way down that Ferraro road. We do that by making sure that the McCain-Palin ticket goes the same way as the Mondale-Ferraro ticket did in 1984. Recall that in 1984, Ronald Reagan won in a landslide victory. Let’s see if we can’t secure as big of a landslide victory as Reagan did in 1984 for the Obama-Biden ticket in 2008. It’s doable.

Categories: National politics

And while I’m on vacation, the Democrats put an end to the nomination fight once and for all…

August 28, 2008, 1:43 AM

Let me say that the fourth day in Virginia Beach was a lot of fun. It started with a walk down the beach. Recall that on Monday, I took Duckie into the water for a swim, and got those amazing wave photos. Today, I again took Duckie to the water, though this time I was mainly out to cover the beach. I got people making sandcastles, as well as completed sandcastles. Some people made forts for themselves, while one person dug a small tunnel system in the sand. Metro for the sand crabs, maybe? Looked as though he had just completed his system’s equivalent of Metro Center when I passed by. And most people, by and large, were very friendly, even offering to pose with their creations as they were building them. However, considering the style of photos I normally like to take, the phrase “act natural” became a fairly common phrase for me.

This, by the way, is the pièce de résistance when it comes to Virginia Beach sandcastles today:

Sandcastle

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The fact that this primary process is still going on amazes me…

May 6, 2008, 11:42 PM

The fact that the Democratic Party has not yet come up with a nominee amazes me. But what can we say? It’s the first serious female contender for president against the first serious black contender for the same. So unless John McCain wins, we will have either the first woman president, or our first black president. Of course, if Grandpa McCain wins, he would beat the record for oldest elected president. Ronald Reagan was 69 when he was first elected in 1981. Grandpa McCain would be 72 if elected. But we’re not talking about McCain. He’s got his nomination sealed up. Let’s discuss… THE DEMOCRATS!

I first began dissociating myself from the Democratic Party in 2007 after the Democrats took power in Congress and proceeded to be an amazing disappointment. And with the way this election has been handled, I’m quite proud to now call myself an Independent. The hell with the party.

First of all, their system has issues. I never thought I’d be praising the Republicans on something, but they do have a simple, straightforward nominating process. It’s winner-take-all, where the person with the most votes in a given primary takes all the delegates for that state. It’s very similar to our electoral college system in every state except Maine and Nebraska (let’s not even go there on the electoral college – we’re not to that point yet). There are also no “superdelegates” in the Republican nominating process. Thus John McCain has had it all sewn up for months now.

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Categories: National politics

Done for another year, and good riddance to it.

April 6, 2008, 3:26 PM

You know what they say. There are only two certainties in life: death and taxes. The former only comes once, and most of us try to put it off as long as possible. The latter comes annually, and it comes due on April 15. And so I can now put it behind me again.

What’s weird, though, is doing it now, vs. in January when I usually do taxes. But this year was more complicated. I changed jobs and states, after all. I left Wal-Mart (yaaaay!), and found work with Food & Water Watch. And I moved from Virginia to Maryland. So for that, I bought TurboTax, and did the whole thing on the computer. Usually, I just sit down with a 1040, a calculator, and a pen, and do it. For the forty bucks or whatever TurboTax cost, it’s normally worth it to just do it manually. But for more complicated years – I was more worried about the state stuff than the federal stuff – TurboTax is handy.

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So the question is, how super will “Super Tuesday” be, i.e., will we have nominees by then?

February 4, 2008, 11:49 PM

So that’s what I’m wondering. With more than half the states having primaries tomorrow, and with this race being as it is, we might end up with nominees tomorrow… or we might not. After all, it’s been a downright ugly race at times, as on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has accused Barack Obama of representing a slum-lord, and Barack Obama has pointed out that Hillary Clinton was on the board of directors of Wal-Mart. Then on the Republican side, it seems that if they’re not trying to amend the Constitution to match the word of “God”, then they’re trying to compare how each matches up to Ronald Reagan, the great Republican god.

Meanwhile, I’ve officially adopted a wait-and-see attitude. I’m not particularly enthused about any of the remaining candidates. I was really excited about Dennis Kucinich’s candidacy, as exemplified by the fact that I got on the iStump for him, but now Kucinich is out, and neither Hillary or Obama really sends me like Kucinich did. I’m probably going to just hold my nose and vote for someone, but at this point, I genuinely don’t know about this current crop.

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Categories: National politics

World’s best bumper sticker ever…

January 20, 2008, 8:33 PM

Tell me this isn’t the best bumper sticker ever:

"The road to hell is paved by Republicans"

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Categories: National politics

You know, you’d think I lived here or something…

November 20, 2007, 11:30 PM

Yeah, based on my activities today, you’d think I lived in Maryland or something. Today, I finally got a Maryland driver’s license. Emphasis here on “finally”. I’ve lived here for what, six months now, and I’m just now finally getting the Maryland license. So that took me a while.

Of course, I’m pleased to have a license that once again agrees with the state where I actually live. Now whenever I get carded for the Manischewitz that I occasionally buy, the birthdate will be nearer the center, vs. in Virginia, where it’s towards the edge and partly blocked by the edge of the pocket in my wallet. Likewise, when I go to the bank and they ask for my ID, now it agrees with what’s in their systems, since I changed that to my Maryland address right away online.

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“Stop the funding, stop the war, what the hell is Congress for?”

April 2, 2007, 9:59 AM

I was out and about on Thursday, and heard on the news about two similar spending bills passing the House and the Senate that included the withdrawal deadline. Now it must go to conference committee to get all the differences ironed out between the House and Senate version. I was quite pleased, though I highly doubt it will make it to law, because President Bush has promised a veto on the bill should it make it to his desk with a deadline in it.

I’ll be the first to tell you that we shouldn’t have been in Iraq in the first place. Saddam didn’t have anything to do with the price of tea in China when it came to the “war on terror”, and we’ve facilitated the country’s fall into a civil war, which is something that the Iraqi people are going to have to figure out for themselves if it’s ever going to get settled.

Still, I’m pleased to see that the new Democratic Congress is taking steps to end this war. We got the message out loud and clear at J27 and M17, and it seems that it’s taken hold. Good…

Categories: National politics

If this is the best that the right wing has to offer, I am not impressed.

March 14, 2007, 6:35 PM

I seem to have been made the poster child of the anti-war movement on the blog of conservative columnist Michelle Malkin. And if what I’ve seen is the best that the right wing has to offer, I am not impressed.

And now we understand why the Republicans lost in November if this is how these people handle themselves. Here are a few gems for you…

From “jim”: When Islam over runs this country it will be because of wussy boys like you.

From “Kelly Aasen”: Go to the gym, read some real books (not the liberal trash you appear to be reading) and get the [expletive deleted] out of your parents house and on your own.

From “A Vet”: Kindly don’t come looking to desecrate the VN memorial. We had experience dealing with people in black previously and we won’t take kindly to any attempts to leave any paint/marks on it. Otherwise have a nice day Sunday. PS: kindly don’t date my daughter.

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First time to DC in nearly three weeks…

January 23, 2007, 4:32 AM

Today is a DC day, and I’m ready to go, as it’s been nearly three weeks since January 4 when I last went. This trip was supposed to happen a week ago, but it got rescheduled for political reasons. You see, today is the day Bush gives the State of the Union address, and so I’m going to be at a counter-rally at the Capitol reflecting pool.

The Capitol reflecting pool, by the way, has special significance to me due to some comments Mom made. On our second-ever trip to DC in 1994, we walked from the White House to the Capitol – not a walk to be sneezed at. And in sub-freezing weather, no less. Nearing the Capitol reflecting pool, Mom said, jokingly of course, that it was the spot where all the congressmen and all the senators went to try to snap off Hillary Clinton’s bikini top. The Clinton administration was also the first time in twelve years that they’d been able to partake in snapping off the First Lady’s bikini top, too, as Rosalynn Carter was the last one that they’d been able to do it with. Nancy Reagan was “too small”, and Barbara Bush was “too old”. No word about whether Congress can have fun in the reflecting pool with Laura Bush, because Mom now denies that the exchange ever happened, but we know better.

So who knows. While Bush is blathering on about the poor state he’s left this country in after six years, maybe we’ll see a few representatives who skipped the speech playing in the pool, going after Laura Bush’s bikini top.

Otherwise, this is the first trip since the January 7 derailment at Mt. Vernon Square. And guess what one of my stops will be today – yes, Mt. Vernon Square. I’m going to the Infoshop today, and thus E01 is on the itinerary.

So wish me luck at the protest.

I would like to address something that’s been bothering me for a bit…

January 19, 2007, 11:57 PM

I’ve been listening to Bruce Williams on my iPod, and I finally hear the shows after they’re about two weeks old. I download the podcast every week, and then listen to them in the car when there’s nothing else on. So right now, I’m listening to shows from the first week of January.

One of the things that Mr. Williams brought up was why people are so strongly against wanting to see the execution of Saddam Hussein, when television shows show such violence like that on a regular basis. From my personal standpoint, I draw a big distinction. The stuff you see on television is pretend. It’s “Hollywood magic”, so to speak. A person can be “killed” for a movie, but we know in the back of our minds that they still went home at the end of the day and had dinner.

Compare to seeing the execution of Saddam Hussein. That was real. At the end of it all, Saddam was really dead. He wasn’t going home for dinner after filming was over. The term “snuff film” comes to mind. I’ve never seen a person killed in real life before, and don’t want to. Likewise, I don’t want to see an execution, Saddam Hussein’s or otherwise. I don’t want that image etched onto my mind.

Of course, I still consider the whole concept of executions to be somewhat barbaric in the first place, as I’ve discussed in this entry.

Categories: National politics